When Should Brands Build Web Apps Instead of Native Apps?

Where consumers spend their time

An interview with:
Steve Newcomb
Founder and CEO
Famous Industries

Marketers always want to make the brand experience more seamless for the always-on, mobile consumer. But how can they tell whether to put time and resources into a native mobile app or create a web app? eMarketer’s Yory Wurmser spoke with Steve Newcomb, founder and CEO of instant app creation firm Famous Industries, about the future of web apps, and why many brands might abandon native apps altogether. Newcomb was interviewed as part of eMarketer’s June report, "Mobile Time Spent 2018: Will Smartphones Remain Ascendant?"


eMarketer estimates that about 80% of mobile time is spent in apps right now. How much of that app time is actually in web browsers embedded within apps?

Steve Newcomb:

Quite a bit. There's a huge trend where large brands are taking a bite-sized portion of a campaign they're running and putting it entirely inside apps. These experiences are almost always web app experiences.

If you're on a platform like Facebook and you click an experience, the whole experience is inside Facebook. You're unaware that you're staring at a web experience, because [the web technology] can now exactly mimic native. Many of the experiences within the apps of Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc., actually load a web app.

Interview conducted on May 2, 2018

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